“Our task is to create opportunities for young people in the regions,” Vasyl Khmelnytsky, founder of UFuture
Entrepreneurs in Ukraine should become more and more and for this its necessary to break stereotypes about entrepreneurship. Develop the middle class, destroy the chaotic business system, improve productivity and provide society with business education. Vasyl Khmelnytsky, the founder of the UFuture holding company, thinks that this will help the country to be one step ahead, entrepreneurs to become drivers of the economy, and young people to stay in the regions and not go abroad.
In an interview with Ukrainian Week as part of the special project “Strategic Dialogue”, the entrepreneur shared his views on economic development, the technological structure of the future and his own experience of investing in innovative ideas and projects.
About production and entrepreneurial education
- One of the main problems in the country is production and education. It’s necessary to develop the industrial sphere and teach entrepreneurship from school so that university graduates do not go to Poland or Germany, and citizens, even without being entrepreneurs, understand how to use leasing or bank loans and use resources.
- Ukrainians can produce anything from stools to spaceships, so creating a system of incentives for them is a priority for the state. Foreign investors, in turn, look at how a Ukrainian entrepreneur lives, and if entrepreneurship develops, it stimulates them to enter our market.
- Production creates a demand for new professionals. Even 25-40 years ago there were no institutes of entrepreneurship. That is why UNIT.City in Kyiv, and the new innovation and industrial parks we are building, are an opportunity for a young person to develop, make an effort and succeed in their country.
- Today we need to lay the foundation and teach people. There is more than enough money in the world — you just have to learn how to get it. We at UNIT.City received loans for three years and received 50 million euros at less than 3%. To do this, it was necessary to demonstrate transparency, to show the necessary reporting. Yes, for many it is “long” and “difficult” but it doesn’t happen otherwise, and this must be learned. And we’re ready to share our experience.
About innovations and development of the Ukrainian “middle class”
- There’s a lot of money in the world that is looking for opportunities to produce high quality and inexpensive products. We meet both criteria: despite all the scepticism, Ukrainians are really talented and hard-working. If we open this “window”, investors will come in, earn money and teach us innovative technologies. So we still have a chance to open companies where people will work, not jobs, and we will not lose the chance to catch up with the civilized world.
- Silicon Valley cannot be repeated. Americans are very open, confident and not afraid to share knowledge. In Israel, the focus isn’t on the technologies themselves, but on their benefits to attract potential investors. And the Chinese have a different approach — they say, you still do not understand the essence of technology, so just buy it from us. We can use the experience of all three models, mix it up and thus create our own approach that will bring us success. Gradually, as we connect with world-class innovation centres, we will move closer to them.
- I believe that the future lies with big companies. But it is worth thinking about how to strengthen small companies because it is much better for a country not for one person to earn $1 million, but for 1,000 people for $1,000 then consumption will increase. The state should give small companies more opportunities and incentives, and large ones less to achieve balance.
Read more about the role and place of entrepreneurship in the future of the country and the development of ambitious innovation and industrial projects via the link.